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2021 Conversations That Matter

As we embark on 2021, the world finds itself at a major turning point – politically, economically, technologically and socially. What’s next? It’s never easy to predict, and especially so this year!

For businesses and communication experts, the best way forward is to reflect and learn from the year that was – the lockdown; the economic and social impacts; the devastating bushfires; the disruption of everyday life. The events of 2020 transformed how we communicate.

We asked some of Perth’s best communication experts to look back on 2020 and give us their predictions for 2021.

A purpose-driven focus

With lots of social justice issues developing in 2020, companies should be more socially aware and reconsider what it means to be a business post-COVID.

Brand values will need to be clearly communicated and demonstrated with consistency in the actions of a business.

And when it comes to purpose, organisations should be focussing on sustainability, which Cannings Purple CEO, Annette Ellis says will take centre-stage in 2021.

“I think the rise in all things ESG – environmental, social and governance matters are going to be increasingly at the fore,” Ms Ellis said.

“We’re certainly advising our clients in that space…about where is that white, green space that you can seize as a business.”

A hybrid solution: face-to-face vs online

In 2020, we saw the rise of remote working, reshaping our understanding of a traditional workplace. The sudden shift has provided a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine the way we do our jobs.

Cannings Purple recently conducted a survey to find out how employees felt about the current hybrid remote-office model in place. Ninety percent of employees responded positively to the current flexible arrangement.

Cannings Purple’s Director, Investor Relations, Peter Klinger said in 2021 companies will need to find the right balance between face-to-face and remote working.

“What we shouldn’t forget, is that the face-to-face is really important, so I think one of the trends going forward is that businesses find a good hybrid solution,” Mr Klinger said.

Embrace the digital transformation

COVID-19 has forced businesses to adopt ever-evolving digital channels to engage with stakeholders and community members.

Cannings Purple’s Head of Digital, Glenn Langridge, has noticed a huge shift in the way clients want to engage on digital platforms.

“I’ve had conversations with people about digital marketing and communications who previously wouldn’t have considered it,” Mr Langridge said.

To stay ahead in 2021, brands need to continue to embrace creative ways of connecting with their audience online, as well as keeping abreast of digital trends.

Senior Health Reporter, Cathy O’Leary, said 2020 pushed her to utilise online platforms such as Zoom, resulting in improved digital skills.

“It’s now a matter of businesses using these technologies in a way that creates advantages,” Ms O’Leary said.

A personal touch 

Forced out of the normal routine and daily connections for months, consumers are expressing the desire for a more personal connection with brands.

In 2021, we will see that successful brands are the ones that create a stronger connection with their audience by evolving the customer experience to one that is more personal and conversational.

Western Power’s Executive Manager of Growth, Peter Kerr, said a great way to personalise the customer experience is through the use of video.

“More video is better because I think people really value that human touch,” Mr Kerr said.

Manage risk

Organisations should prepare for the worst by planning various scenarios. Cannings Purple’s unique communications crisis scenario Situation Room puts the crisis response abilities of teams to the test in a safe environment – providing important experience and understanding of the pressures encountered during the management of a major issue.

Cannings Purple is an award-winning PR and communication agency. To learn more about us and how we can help you or your businesses navigate through 2021, contact us today.

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